It\’s common knowledge that in today\’s schools, lessons on ecological responsibility are a required element of the curriculum. Awareness of the environment and its needs can be increased through sustainability activities and sustainable habits that keep your kids thinking about the globe. But with everything else on your plate this school year, how do you keep a sustainable classroom and model those crucial values for your students?
Simple Methods to Promote Sustainability in the Classroom:
1. Establish a Compost Area:
Assisting the school\’s environment doesn\’t require students to take a break from their studies. The first step is as simple as collecting coffee grounds and student lunch scraps to toss into a compost bin. The organic waste from students\’ lunches can be used to make compost for the school\’s gardens, or you can donate it to a nearby community garden.
Your school\’s agriculture department or chicken coop would benefit greatly from your uneaten food leftovers. They could repay you with some beautiful eggs.
Everything you need to get rolling is below:
Build a compost pile:
You and your pupils will need a compost bin to collect organic waste for the first step. A basic plastic tote will do the trick if this composting project will be kept in the classroom rather than being put up somewhere outside on school grounds, or you can attempt a composter that is intended to be used indoors.
Create gaps by drilling holes:
Your trash can be quite dark inside to facilitate decomposition, but proper ventilation is still essential. If you don\’t have a composting bin, you\’ll need to make holes in the top of your plastic tote so that compost can breathe.
Tell your students what they can put in the compost bin:
It is important for students to know what kinds of organic garbage can be thrown away and what kinds of trash need to be taken to the curb. Students can be reminded of what they can and cannot compost with the use of posters that can be printed and displayed in the classroom.
2. Make recycling mandatory (and set an example):
This is yet another eco-friendly activity that may be done in the classroom. Include recycling in a classroom contract and model good behavior by tossing your own paper and cardboard into the recycling bin on a regular basis. This will show your kids the importance of recycling and encourage them to do the same.
The more this sustainable behavior is ingrained in them at a young age, the more probable it is that they will carry it with them into adulthood.
3. Please replenish your supply of whiteboard pens:
Did you know that every year, educational institutions in Australia discard an estimated 40 million whiteboard markers? If you loathe tossing away so much plastic every semester, switch to refillable whiteboard markers. Pens are made from recycled plastic and have two-sided nibs for use when writers are feeling down.
4. Observe a Day of Zero (or Reduced) Energy Consumption:
You may already take part in Earth Hour in March, but have you ever thought about continuing your involvement throughout the year? Put your kids (and yourself!) to the test by having them spend a school day (or half a day, if necessary) in the dark.
This environmental education exercise is sure to have pupils thinking about all the energy-hungry school supplies they use. The day\’s worth of electricity, calculators, computers, iPads, interactive whiteboards, and air conditioning has been turned on.
Ask students for suggestions on how they can accomplish all of their usual classes without using any electricity in the days leading up to your energy-free time.
5. Conduct an Energy Audit:
In this vein of conserving resources, have you taken stock of how much electricity you and your pupils actually consume in the classroom? The Clean Energy Council estimates that a typical Australian classroom consumes 3800 kWh of electricity annually. This is equivalent to around half of the electricity used by a typical Australian household.
Technology has made our lives easier, but it also has a large carbon footprint if it is used irresponsibly. Educate your children on the topic of carbon emissions, and then conduct a classroom energy audit to identify areas in which energy savings can be made. This is a fantastic method of giving children the agency to:
Observe your room\’s appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling systems.
Look into the electricity use in your room.
recommend ways to cut back on your energy use
6. Dig Around in the Lunchbox:
Students can once more make the connection between their actual activities and the environmental impact they have as individuals by participating in a lunchbox audit with your class! This kind of inquiry really aids in inspiring kids to consider their own consumption from a more global and sustainable standpoint.
As a STEM task, this activity might be expanded for older kids. Students can investigate the steps of food production, packing, and disposal as well as create and propose a suggestion for more environmentally friendly design solutions for manufacturing, selling, or packaging.
7. Get Assistance With Your School Supply Waste (Free):
If you don\’t already have a PlanetArk box, this is the perfect time to buy one for recycling your paper or inkjet cartridges. TerraCycle offers a convenient disposal solution that enables you to recycle pencils, markers, and other school supplies for the remainder of your used stationery. It seems absurd to not, doesn\’t it?
8. Replace Plastic With Metal:
Examine your art supplies as well as your personal nourishment. Can you replace the plastic straws and cups with paper ones? When you can switch to paper or biodegradable straws for your creative projects, it\’s an extraordinary thing for the environment!
9. Support your exhibits with fabric:
This is a fantastic approach to maintaining visual interest in the classroom without resorting to expensive poster paper. You can get a wide variety of patterned fabrics at a textiles shop, or if you\’d prefer a blank canvas, you can pick up a cheap, huge flat sheet from a thrift store.
10. Discussing Water: A Scale of Opinions:
Does your classroom have access to a sink? It\’s important to encourage pupils to turn off the water after they\’re done washing their hands and to discuss water conservation early in the school year. So that everyone can do their part to help the environment at school, you could talk to the custodial staff about placing similar warnings in the restrooms.
Soon enough, all of your pupils will be shutting off the water, reporting any leaks they see, and only using a quarter of a flush when necessary. When the day is done, empty your water bottles into the garden to keep the plants hydrated.